Marooned in Missouri

When we told our friends and family that we were starting a travel blog we were sure that we were nearly ready to pull the gear up and hit the road full time. We underestimated how much life can happen while you are busy making other plans. Sometimes the days do not go the way we planned. Sometimes this continues for weeks at a time. Is this post we share some of the challenges of the last two months.

The Best Laid Plans

A person may plan his path, but Adonai directs his steps. — Proverbs 16:9 (CJB)

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans — John Lennon

When we purchased our RV in September of last year we had already made up our minds to leave our “sticks and bricks” house behind to live in the RV full time. What we didn’t know is how long that process would take.

Our “sticks and bricks” house is a ~3200 sq/ft split level house built in the 1980’s. We had been living in the house for just longer than four years when we made the decision to leave it, and we had been busy acquiring “stuff” the entire four years.

You never realize how much useless crap you have until you have to move it.


By October we had made pretty respectable progress on the top floor of the house, but packing came to halt so that visiting family could use the house rather than have to spend money for a hotel or Air B&B. Family would be in and out through the Christmas holiday, but the top floor of the house was otherwise packed. (Or so we thought.)

Meanwhile the basement had become the “staging area” (read: dumping ground) for the items which had been upstairs, but needed to be sold, donated or otherwise removed from the house. Sam’s office was in the basement, as well as Sam’s other office — the garage.

After the holidays had come and gone there was nothing left for us to do but finish getting rid of what we didn’t want, and to pack the few things that we wanted to keep. We expected to be done and on the road by the end of January.

And then a few things happened.

On New Years Eve our son fell while playing and bit a hole completely through his bottom lip. It was only a flesh wound, but it certainly was exciting at the time!

A few days later Sam came down with the flu. Then Brittany caught it, and then the kids caught it. It would be two weeks before everyone was over the funk and able to get back to the task of packing up the house.

And then the winter weather came. And it came in a big way. The first cold blast froze the water pipes in the galley (that’s what RVers call the kitchen). Nothing froze to the point of bursting pipes or fittings, but there was no water in the galley that day.

A Winter Wonderland

Determined to never have that happen again over temps in the low 20’s we set out to winterize the RV. We insulated everything, added pipe insulation, added tank heaters and closed everything back up. There will be a separate detailed post about the winterizing efforts, which was not without challenges.

The polar shield is a lie!

Before the next cold snap the following week we had to take the belly of the rig apart again due to the tank heaters having failed (yep, all of them!). We installed the replacement set to be ready for the cold. The cold came, and the tank heaters failed … again. However we were able to keep water flowing through temperatures in the Fahrenheit teens.

Between these cold periods we were able to liquidate most of the furniture out of the house. Only the dining room table and chair set remained when the most recent cold weather was forecast. Initial forecasts informed us to expect up to one inch of ice followed by up to two feet of snow and negative temperatures in the overnights. Yikes!

What do you do when you live in an RV, the weather is forecasting negative temps and snow, and you are unable to just leave for warmer climates? You put the skirting on your RV. What do you do if you don’t have skirting? You get on making it. Quickly.

Our RV in Snow

So while we didn’t get out of the “sticks and bricks” in January the way we had wanted to, we did learn just about everything there is to know about this particular RV and winter time. The biggest takeaway is this: Sabre’s “Polar Shield” package is a marketing gimmick. It will not protect your RV from even slightly winter weather.

Coming Up

We have posts in the works for the following topics.

  • Winterizing an RV – Between the frame rails
  • Winterizing an RV – Skirting in an emergency
  • Winterizing an RV – Everywhere else
  • RV Tank Heaters – Which brand will fail when you need them most
  • Spendide Washer/Dryer – Installation and usage impressions
  • RV Upgrades – Some of the interior RV upgrades we have added
  • RV Solar – How we decided to implement solar power on our RV
  • Hard-wired Networking – Because wireless networks are not great

Check back for updates on these topic and more as our adventure continues. Until then!


  • sam

    Sam has lived many lives in his years on planet Earth. With a background heavy equipment repair, construction, home remodeling, permaculture farming, computer programming, 3d printing and so much more, Sam knows how to do many things. One of those things is writing. Sam gained his writing ability through reading. Much of Sam's reading centers around history, philosophy, psychology, religion, spirituality, the occult, alchemy and tarot. Sam is an ordained minister. Sam holds certifications in CBT, RBT, Mindfullness and other fields of study. Sam is also a certified hypnosis practitioner, and certified master Reiki practitioner. Sam's current book project is a simple to follow guide to building an off-grid capable fifth wheel.

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